Essential oils have long been used in alternative, Eastern (Ayurveda & Chinese medicine) and homoeopathic medicines thanks to their effectiveness and low risk of side effects being completely natural, pure plant formulas. One benefit of some essential oils is improving hair health – different oils can do everything from helping hair growth, combating dandruff to adding strength and shine. Here Bio-Scents essential oil expert, Emilie de Block shares her favourites:
YLANG YLANG: designed for those of us with dry scalps (anyone with oily hair and skin should skip this) Ylang Ylang works to naturally stimulate sebum production, which is needed to stop the hair from becoming dry and brittle. Mix 5 drops with 2 tablespoons of warm oil (olive or coconut is great) and massage it gently into your scalp. Wrap your head with a warm towel and leave it in for 30 minutes before washing out. It’s moisture rentention properties make this a particularly good choice for afro hair which tends to be more prone to breakage.
LAVENDER: known for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties lavender can help improve scalp health including acne, build-up and dandruff. It is also one of the few essential oils that contain the natural compound Linalyl Acetate which is known to strengthen your hair. Add a few drops to a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and apply it directly to your scalp – leave for at least 10 minutes before washing it out and shampooing as you normally would.
ROSEMARY: this is one of our favourite oils for hair loss, and is especially loved by our male clients who suffer from hair loss within their beards. Known to support hair growth and increase thickness, add a few drops of Rosemary to a carrier oil and massage it directly into the scalp or skin to promote hair growth in the areas required. Repeat twice weekly for best results.
LEMONGRASS: this essential oil is an anti-dandruff hero – a common ailment for many of us! It’s most effective when used daily so we recommend adding a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner bottle which will work wonders when massaged into your scalp in the shower. Just remember to massage deeply and rinse it out!
BERGAMOT & CLARY SAGE: both of these essential oils contain the natural compound Linalyl Acetate which is known to strengthen your hair, in addition to increasing hair growth and making hair more difficult to break. Mix 3 drops of either oil into your daily conditioner (or with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil if you prefer) and allow it to work its magic when applied. If you are using it daily, leave the conditioner (or oil treatment) on for 2 minutes, or if you are doing it twice per week, leave it for 10 minutes as a self-care treatment.
CEDARWOOD: this oil is known to help promote hair growth and reduce hair loss by balancing the oil-producing glands in the scalp. It also has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties which can help treat different conditions that may contribute to dandruff or hair loss. We like to mix a few drops with our carrier oil of choice, then massage it onto the scalp and leave for 10 minutes before washing it out.
words by Emilie de Block